Since Steve Lavin was hired for the head coaching job at St. John's, rumors have swirled that Manhattan College head coach Barry Rohrssen would join Lavin's staff as an assistant coach.
Rohrssen is considered the top recruiter in the nation of the five boroughs of New York City and used to be an assistant coach at Pitt under Jamie Dixon.
With Pitt, Rohrssen brought in stars such as Levance Fields and Ronald Ramon.
Rohrssen has struggled as the head coach of Manhattan through his first four seasons, compiling a 52-70 record. He has never brought the Jaspers past the MAAC quarterfinals and is 2-4 in the MAAC Tournament.
Rohrssen had Manhattan fans excited upon his entrance to the Manhattan program due to his reputation as a great recruiter. However, Rohrssen's great recruiting skills had not shown through his first few seasons.
His only good recruit to play for him was Rico Pickett. Pickett played for Alabama as a freshman but then left to play at Miami Dade College. For his junior season, Pickett chose Manhattan over Connecticut and Florida. Pickett was ranked as the overall No. 46 recruit in 2006.
Rohrssen appears to be starting to find his way with recruiting at Manhattan. As of now, Rohrssen has already received commitments from four solid players.
Rohrssen has had a verbal commitment from Mike Alvarado for two years. Alvarado is graded an 80 on ESPN and is ranked No. 123 for point guards.
Near the start of the 2009-10 season, Rohrssen received a commitment from sharpshooter Kidani Brutus. Brutus is currently playing at Carl Albert State College in Oklahoma. There is no guarantee on how good Brutus will be, but he is supposedly a dangerous three-point shooter.
In the last few months, Rohrssen received commitments from forwards Joel "Air Jamaica" Wright and Rhamel Brown.
Wright is a Top 100 small forward this year. He was originally committed to Fordham, but when Dereck Whittenburg was fired, he left Fordham and chose Manhattan. Wright can cause problems for opponents on the defensive end and can also be relied on for consistent double-digit scoring.
Brown is known for his shot-blocking and rebounding. Brown has reportedly also has a polished offensive game, but it is not his strength. Brown has good hands on the inside, which Manhattan has lacked in the "Rohrssen Era."
Lastly, Rohrssen received a verbal commitment from Poughkeepsie guard Dayvon Whitaker. Whitaker is only 5'9", but he has the ability to score and is supposedly a playmaker. Whitaker will not play for Manhattan in next year, but rather in 2011-2012.
Rohrssen has also gotten interest from Roland Brown and Maurice Barrow for the 2010-2011 season.
Brown is 6'8" and can score in the post. He is also able to run the floor well and can sometimes cause havoc on breaks. But offense is not his strength. Brown is a massive presence in the post and can rebound and block shots.
Barrow is a 6'4" small forward and is ranked No. 97 for his position. Barrow is considered to be able to do everything fairly well but does not have one area where he is very good. Barrow has strength, which Manhattan has lacked in recent years. He can drive and also has a mediocre jump shot.
Now, Barry Rohrssen is faced with a big question: Should he stay with his struggling, but hopeful, Manhattan Jaspers, or should he leave to be an assistant at a Big East school?
Rohrssen has expressed some interest in the job at St. John's but has also stated that he is happy with Manhattan and would like to coach the team in 2010-11.
Rohrssen has struggled with the letters "x" and "o," but there has been some talk that he may be bringing in new assistants for next season. If he could get a good wingman on his bench for next season, the Jaspers stand a chance at contending in the MAAC in 2010-11.
Please check back for more updates on the current coaching situations at Manhattan College.
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